THEATER REVIEW

At Fort Fringe, X-Men mark the spot for 'Superheroes Who Are Super'

By Fiona Zublin
Thursday, July 15, 2010

The initial reaction of many people to the idea of staged readings of comic books would be, "Why would I ever go see that?" And if you're no comic-book geek, that's a perfectly normal and healthy reaction. If, however, you love comic books to the extent that you understand the concept of the Rainbow Batman, that you remember when Superman claimed to have super-weaving powers, that you can name the metal that forms Wolverine's claws and skeleton (adamantium) -- well, you probably don't even need to read this review, because you're going to enjoy people reading your favorite comic books aloud, right? Thus "Superheroes Who Are Super," playing through Sunday at Fort Fringe.

The concept is solid: Point up the works' endearing and ridiculous plot lines and dialogue by reading them verbatim, drop in a few charmingly low-tech special effects and you've got a Fringe show. And indeed, the dialogue is amazing -- the Joker (Vegas Lancaster) growling "Don't call me 'pudding'!" at his pseudo girlfriend Harley Quinn (Brittany Holdahl) -- and the effects are spot-on, from mustaches made of tape to a creative new way to represent a tank of piranhas. If Save the Day Productions could make the pacing snappier, it would have a decent show. Please note that different comic books are staged depending on the performance date, and that there will be no more performances of "Batman: Mad Love." The final two shows at the Fringe are devoted to the uncanny X-Men.


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